I finished books 7 and 8 this weekend. However, I’ll only be writing about book 8, The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived. I’ll be writing about the other book on The Nervous Breakdown because I got to interview the author AND it started me on a new adventure into the back end of American consumerism. I promise it will be good though when it’s finished.

Now, on to the revealing of the most influential person who never lived. If you recall, a few weeks ago I asked you all who you thought the most influential person who never lived was and I got a lot of great responses. Some people who made your lists were Barbie (#43 in the book), Superman (#64) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (#44).

But the person selected by the authors as the most influential fictional person is the Marlboro Man, of commercial fame. The Marlboro Man hurtled the brand into the top seller of cigarettes in the nation. Marlboro (Phillip Morris) makes up 35 percent of the cigarette market in the United States, a larger percentage than the other top six brands combined.

The top ten, in order, are: The Marlboro Man, Big Brother, King Arthur, Santa Clause, Hamlet, Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster, Siegfried, Sherlock Holmes, Romeo and Juliet, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

As far as the book goes, I thought it was really interesting and I learned a lot about history and legends that I never knew. There were several characters in the book of whom I’d never heard, but about whom I was deligthed to learn more. One of my favorite characters to learn about was Lilith, the first woman (so there, Eve).  The authors also didn’t take themselves too seriously. They made the book funny and enjoyable, even interviewing their dog at one point in the book. The best part about the book though is you don’t have to read it all at once. You can take it in pieces and really enjoy learning about each character (each character review is only one to two pages long, so it’s very bite-sized).

I’d recommend it, but get it from the library.

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